Healthy Baking the Ultimate Health Guide
It’s almost impossible to resist a warm gooey cookie or a moist chocolate cake. These yummy baked goods often win us over, making it difficult for us to stay on track with our health and fitness goals. But how can you possibly satisfy your cravings for baked treats while working towards your wellness mission? Well, we’ve discovered a solution to this dilemma: healthy baking!
For many people, baking is a way of life. But baked goods don’t have the nicest reputation what with all the heavy amounts of refined sugars, processed vegetable oils, and unhealthy additives and preservatives they commonly come with. This becomes a difficult feat for those who love to bake but want to stay in top shape and maintain their health.
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But have we got some great news for you! We’ve rounded up some healthy baking tips, so you can still savor your favorite baked goods without feeling too guilty. Find out how you can reduce fat in your pastries, make a healthier frosting, bake guilt-free cookies, and more in this article!
Top Healthy Baking Tips
- Use whole wheat flour.
Most recipes call for white flour. To make your baked goods healthier, try substituting at least half of the amount the recipe requires with whole wheat flour. Your baked goodie will be slightly denser but it will be more nutritious as whole wheat flour contains dietary fiber, and offers a nutritional advantage. You can also use other healthier alternatives such as coconut flour and oat flour.
- Nix the additional yolks.
Eggs are one of the best protein sources. They are also packed with other key nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and E, folate, iron, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It’s no wonder why eggs are loved by many. And because they are versatile too, many baked recipes make use of eggs. Cakes, in particular, require several additional yolks. But while eggs are nutrient-dense, the egg yolks are high in cholesterol and fat.
To avoid excessive fat and cholesterol, cut down on additional eggs. For example, if a recipe requires two eggs, use one whole egg and two egg whites. The trick is to replace a whole egg with two egg whites so you can avoid baking products that are too high in cholesterol and fat content.
- …or substitute eggs with chia seeds.
Another thing that you can do to avoid consuming too much fat and cholesterol from eggs is to use chia seeds. Not a lot of people know that these mighty seeds also make a great egg substitute! To do this, you only need to mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Chia seeds turn gelatinous when they sit in water, mirroring the texture of eggs.
You can also enjoy chia seeds as they are in your baked goodies! Toss them into your muffins and other baked treats for that extra crunch. You’d be happy to savor not just chia seeds’ texture but their impressive nutritional profile and health perks as well! What’s more, they’re gluten-free and vegan diet-friendly!
- Add avocado into the mix.
One of the healthiest foods on the planet that you can take advantage of is avocado. This fruit is a rich source of healthy fats, and other important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It also contains lutein, a carotenoid known to promote eye health, as well as dietary fiber, which is best known for its ability to combat or relieve constipation.
You can savor the vast avocado health benefits by using it in your puddings and frostings or as a butter substitute in your brownie, cake, and other baked good recipes. It’ll not only give your baked treats a nice texture, consistency, and flavor but will also let you enjoy the health perks that come with it!
- Swap your fatty oil with applesauce.
Want to achieve a moist cake? Why not swap your fatty oil with some unsweetened applesauce for a healthy change? Applesauce works well in giving your baked treats that moist you’ve always been wanting to go for! For every cup of oil that a recipe requires, you can use ¾ of applesauce instead.
- Don’t forget about Greek yogurt!
One of the best probiotic foods, Greek yogurt makes a great addition to any savory or sweet recipe. It’s also nutritious, boasting significant amounts of protein and calcium. You can also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for oil in your baked recipes to keep the flavor and boost the moisture of your goodie!
- Mind your portions.
Another healthy baking trick is to make mini versions of your baked treats. The great thing about this is you’ll be able to savor the taste without taking in too many calories and fats per serving. Sometimes, all you really need is to satisfy your cravings. By baking small versions of your favorite treats, you get to satisfy your taste buds while avoiding over-indulging.
- Sweeten up your baked goodies with bananas.
Refined sugars are one of the common ingredients that make most baked treats unhealthy. If you want to sweeten up your baked goods without having to add these unhealthy refined sugars, look no further than bananas! This nutritional powerhouse is naturally rich in sugar, which means they can add the sweetness that you like your baked treats to have.
What’s more, bananas are a great source of important nutrients too such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and potassium. Adding them to the mix won’t only sweeten up your baked recipes but will boost your nutrient intake as well!
- Forget the sugar and spice it up instead.
Most baked recipes call for sugar, and there’s no wonder why since a majority of baked treats taste sweet! So, what’s the next best thing to do aside from using bananas as a sugar substitute? Another healthy baking tip is to spice up your treats! Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg offer distinct flavors that will help boost your baked good’s taste and quality. So, the next time a baked recipe requires additional refined sugar, grab your jar of cinnamon or nutmeg instead!